tech2 News StaffMay 10, 2016 09:50:35 IST
Facebook continues to hit headlines for all wrong reasons, and here's yet another. Now, its news algorithm is facing flak, according to a report by Gizmodo, citing former journalist who worked on the project.
So, according to some former workers, trending stories were suppressed, especially stories that were conservative. "This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users," the report clearly states.
News curators reportedly also told Gizmodo that they were asked to artificially inject stories into the trending section, irrespective of whether they were popular or not. Needless to say, curators were also asked not to include stories about Facebook in the section.
If this report is to be believed, than it works just like traditional newsroom, and not what Facebook claims it to be. According to Facebook, the trending modules picks and lists topics that have become popular on the social network.
The report received alarming response from some social media users and several journalists while commentators criticised Facebook for the alleged bias.
In response, Facebook released a statement refuting the report and spoke about 'rigorous guidelines'.
Facebook said, "We take allegations of bias very seriously. Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum. Trending Topics shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. Those guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. These guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics."
But this isn't the first time, the social giant has been accused of being biased.
Not-so-long-ago, Facebook was also accused of restricting users from access about 30,322 emails and email attachments sent and received by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. They were obtained as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request. Last month, a report hinted at Facebook censorship on pro-Trump and negative Hillary news.
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